New Jersey’s program to make college tuition-free for some students has been expanded to include qualifying students at community colleges in Morris, Essex, Sussex and three other counties.
Thirteen county colleges across New Jersey began piloting the Community College Opportunity Grant program in January. The expansion will provide qualifying students with the ability to attend county college tuition-free this spring at Brookdale Community College in Monmouth County, County College of Morris, Essex County College, Raritan Valley Community College, Rowan College at Burlington County, and Sussex County Community College.
Students would qualify if they meet the requirements of enrolling in at least 6 credits this spring, making satisfactory academic progress, coming from families with adjusted gross incomes up to $45,000, and completed the application for federal and state financial aid.
The program grants cover any gap remaining between a student’s tuition and covered educational fees and all other financial aid grants they receive.
“With this expansion, students in need at all 19 of our community colleges will have access to an education that is within financial reach and allows them to worry about their grades instead of how they will pay for school,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “We know that if our students can obtain a higher education, our communities become more prosperous, their employers become more competitive, and the state economy becomes more innovative and attractive to businesses.”
The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, which is implementing the pilot along with the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, has estimated there could be about 24,000 students who meet the eligibility criteria across all the colleges.